News BlogWest Africa - Sahel

A diplomatic service assessment mission in Côte d'Ivoire

The issue of the return of refugees - here a UNHCR mission in Liberia - as well as the disarmament and reconciliation of the various militias is at the heart of the reconstruction process in Côte d'Ivoire (credit: UNHCR March 2011)

(BRUSSELS2) An exploratory mission from the European Diplomatic Service (EEAS) has left for Ivory Coast and should be fully operational tomorrow. Led by the director of the “crisis response” department, Agostino Miozzo, and the director of the Africa department, Nicholas Wescott (who knows Côte d'Ivoire well having been British ambassador until recently in this country, resident in Ghana) , it includes a range of European experts according to the format of that used in “Benghazi”. The experts come, in fact, from almost everywhere: from the diplomatic service, the foreign policy instruments (FPI), the DG Development, the DG Humanitarian Affairs (ECHO), and the planning and management directorate. seizures (CMPD).

Politics, economics, humanitarian, security services…

The objective of the mission is to review the issues in which the European Union can be involved, whether political (new government, reconciliation, etc.), military - the process of disarmament, demobilization and reconciliation (DDR), and the reform of security structures (RSS), described as “ priority areas of engagement »—, humanitarian or economic. On the agenda are, in fact, the lifting of sanctions and the aid package that the European Union could release, and more generally, the “ recovery » of Côte d'Ivoire and human rights. The investigation into the perpetrators of the massacres during the latest events should also be addressed.

During the two days on site – April 29 and 30 – the mission planned to meet the legal authorities of the country – President Alexandre Ouattara and the Prime Minister – but also civil society and, “ if possible », the political opposition.

The objective, however, is not to reach decisions but to present sufficient elements for future decisions both at the level of the European Commission or the High Representative of the EU as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 27 .

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).